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Jun 01, 2009


Brian Benton

I agree. They are comparing apples to oranges. It's not a fair comparison. Shame on them.

Darren Young

This is standard SolidWorks sales tactics. They don't address Inventor at all.

At a past employer, we had them come in and do a demo as we thought it might be benificial to have a seat or two in addition to the 7 licenses of Inventor and 52 licenses of AutoCAD.

Even after explaining to them that because we were a manufacturer of architectual product, we still needed AutoCAD, that's the only comparison they made.

The next day when the called to follow up, I told them that I estimated it would be roughly a $30k investment to buy 7 seats of Solidworks and asked them how productive we'd be if we instead invested $30k into training for thr 7 seats of Inventor we already had (we hadn't yet used Inventor as nobody invested in training to that point).

SolidWorks response was "I din't know you had 7 seats of Inventor" to which I replied "You didn't ask".

They clearly do well selling against AutoCAD and keep quiet the fact that Autodesk has a more comparable product because many plain AutoCAD users are aware of SolidWorks but not Inventors, primarily I assume, because if it's name as a common noun.

R.K. McSwain

You have to wonder if they were using the term "AutoCAD" in place of "Autodesk". I see and hear it done all the time.


I saw this and am trying to find get clearer info from the company. hope I don't get the run around.

R. Paul Waddington

Who designs bank vault doors with AutoCAD? The time and cost savings comparison should have been, of course, with Inventor.”

I would like to think Ralph’s statement is a ‘tongue in cheek’ comment; because, ‘of course’, many use AutoCAD to design and should. The last time I looked a designer was a person with ideas using any tool available to turn h/er/is dreams into reality. Inventor/Solidworks etc, is software, all as dumb as the day is long and none can, nor should, be given any credit for ‘designing’ anything.

But the reactions, to Ralph’s post, are more amusing. I would like to see what Josh uncovers; having followed up on quite a few of these ‘press statements’, out if interest and in an effort to find out where the real savings occur – if at all. I have found that many of the statements border on being completely false or at best ‘guesses’ published as ‘fact’.

Not a single one of Autodesk’s ads relating to productivity improvements can be validated, rendering the information as worthless as the comments criticizing this comparison.

If ,and I doubt it, a real comparison was done – by the company involved - and done between AutoCAD and Solidworks it would make the results of some value to the company. As for comparing apples and oranges; if that was the direction they were moving, and you were in the same position, you would do exactly the same thing. It may well have been a ‘fair’ comparison in their eyes and that is all that counts.

If the company did not do a comparison with Inventor that is their fault NOT Solidworks. “Shame on them”, come on; no shame here, it’s business, if Autodesk wasn’t there to defend their product the ‘shame’ is theirs, not Solidwork’s, nor the customers!

This is a world controlled by marketeers who have almost total control over their users; and the evidence that this is a fact can be seen in the reactions to Ralph’s post.

Finally, if you don’t believe it, find out more (as Josh apparently is?) and publish the findings. If that is not an option then simply ignore the release and don’t comment; after all that is why they sent it out – to solicit attention and comment. They fail in their endeavor if you ignore them, and the practice will stop.

Al Dean

It's one of those things. What this is about is moving from 2D to 3D. you get all that good stuff. Fewer clashes, interference detection, easier design change.

I don't particularly think its a case of 'shame on them'. more that solidworks are using the angle that AutoCAD is not as good for designing bank vaults as SolidWorks.

Which is probably isn't. Its a complex beast of a product, with complex mechanisms and complex forces action within and as a result of its use. That's a perfect case for moving to 3D.

The fact that they chose SolidWorks is pretty much neither here nor there. It's marketing guys. Its supposed to fudge or bend the truth and present these things to the benefit of the company doing the marketing.

THe really interesting bit for me is the “If security is job number one, longevity and durability are next in line. Our products are built to last hundreds of years. So it’s absolutely critical for us to keep an accurate, detailed history of parts, designs, and modifications,”

Oh and just a note to Paul about the Autodesk ads. Same is true. But I've spoken to some of the people that have made those claims (HTC for example in sweden) and they stack up. Same point about it all being marketing holds true.

Take it all with a pinch of salt.


John N

It may be marketing, but it is also strategy. Autodesk mechanical division could make a pretty good living for quite a while slowly converting the majority portion of the 2D user base to Inventor. But if SolidWorks (and/or others) can siphon off a reasonable minority percentage to upgrade to them instead, they stand a better chance of maintaining or increasing overall market share. Several releases ago, SolidWorks recognized that the difficult transition from AutoCAD to Inventor was an opportunity to steal away user base. Although Autodesk is getting better, I expect SW marketing and development to continue to target the 2D AutoCAD base for some time.


It's not just Solidworks that compare modelling to drafting. Revit did it pre-Autodesk, Autodesk do it now comparing Revit to AutoCAD based solutions (even model based ones).

Besides, what is the problem anyway? If you regard the output as being the product, not the documentation that aides making it, then any process comparison is valid.

Where most of these go wrong is implying the tool will inherently result in better design. It may help but that ultimately depends on the skill of the users.

Adrian Newey starts designing Red Bull Formula 1 cars on a drawing board with a pen. The highest tech computer design follows but 'old fashioned" process doesn't seem to impede his design.

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